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Category Archives: biography

The energy in the room was electric. Friends and family had come from miles to celebrate.

I had graduated from college!

When the phone rang I was standing by my fiancee, my parents, and Morrie Lanning (the mayor Moorhead at that time). It was the hiring manager from Microsoft. She was calling to offer me a job!

Out of over 2,000 resumes and hundreds of people interviewed, I was one of five people hired!

I thought that life couldn’t get any better.

Everything was falling into place.

I had it all figured out and was on my way.

Of course, as some of you know, it didn’t work out the way I planned. Fast forward 17 years later and…

  • I was fired from the job and escorted out of the building my last day.
  • The relationship with my fiancee ended.
  • A banner ad changed my life.
  • A morning of prayer put me on a new path.
  • My kidneys were failing.
  • God gave me unshakeable faith.
  • I cried (many times).
  • A leap of faith to move back to the USA.
  • I ran a family business and left it five years later (one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done).
  • I started a new business.
  • God blessed me with three girls.
  • I’ve been happily married for 13 years.
  • Many countless miracles.

If you’d like to join me on this journey, I am going to focus in the coming weeks and months to write bits of the story. It has been bubbling up the past several months and it’s time.

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I was going through a particularly tough time in my life.

That evening I decided to take a break from going out with friends, and went to check my hotmail.

What e-mail looked like in 2002

While browsing e-mail, I happened upon a banner ad. You know, those annoying things that most browsers block nowadays? It was something about a service called “MSN Chat”

This was chat

I thought to myself “Why not?” and clicked. There were a ton of different rooms, what to choose…

“20something” looked interesting. After all, I was a 20something and thought it would be fun to meet people my age. I clicked again, found myself in this virtual room with 50something 20somethings (see what I did there?)

Clicking profiles to see who was there, I noticed one from the Dominican Republic.

Hmm…

I didn’t know much about that country! I wonder what life is like there?

So I introduced myself, asked a few questions.

Julia and I started talking, had a nice conversation. Added each other to IM…thought it would be fun to talk more.

I said good bye, signed off, and went to bed. Not knowing how that evening would change my life forever.

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I paid my fare, collected my ticket, and sat down on the bus. Something I had done hundreds of times before to make the trip from Jarabacoa to Santo Domingo, but today was different.

It would be my last time making this trip while living in the Dominican Republic.

It was my last full day on the island.

The bus started down the winding road, passing familiar sights. My mind didn’t give them much notice, nor the Steven Seagal movie that was playing on the bus’s entertainment system. I had a book in hand, a collection of short stories by Phillip K. Dick to pass the time. I remember reading one story (I believe it was called The Golden Man) that day about a man who always saw infinite possibilities in front of him. Considering all the possibilities and unknowns that were before us, it put me deep in thought.

We were set to fly out early the next day. My wife Julia, our 9 month old daughter Lara, and our dog Nina were going to embark on a new chapter of life.

Julia and Lara’s first time in the USA. Their first time experiencing winter. In fact, I remember what Julia first said when we stepped of the plane in Minneapolis a few days later, “It feels like sticking your face in the freezer” when, in fact, the freezer is warmer than what we were experiencing in Minneapolis that day.

I had membranous glomerulonephritis. I was to be part of a trial at Mayo Clinic for treatment.

We had no health insurance. With a few thousand dollars to our name (most of which I was carrying with me in cash) and some faith (I’ll get to that later), we were taking things one day or one moment at a time.


Over the coming days/weeks/months/years I will be writing out bits and pieces of my story. I haven’t said much about it but it has been bubbling up more over the past several months through questions, conversations, and thoughts.

It’s time to write it out.

There won’t be a rhyme or reason to the order I write, it will be bits as they come up. I will try to link them together, and answer questions like:

  • How did you find out you had a kidney disease?
  • How did you meet your wife? How did she get her residency so she could travel to the USA?  You mean she couldn’t travel here without a visa?
  • What were you doing in the Dominican Republic?
  • What happened with your kidneys?
  • Why were you on a bus your last day in the country?

I’m looking forward to the journey, and honored to have you join me on it!

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